“Then they will deliver you up to affliction and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name.” Matthew 24:19
True Christians have always been the focus of derision throughout the ages, certainly it is nothing new. In America there has always been tolerance and aside from some name calling, usually there is no true violence against Believers. This of course is not the case in other countries, such as Iran, Syria, India, China or historically in place like Russia. The Roman Catholic church persecuted and killed millions of Believers throughout the middle ages, even into the 1800’s.
“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues.” Matthew 10:16-17
The government has coined the term ‘lone wolves’, but in reality those who truly know Christ are His sheep. As our society continues to become more and more degraded, the threat from the actual wolves out there increases. What is a Believer to do?
“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” 1st Corinthians 15:58
Persecution comes with our Citizenship (Philippians 3:20). While we might live in a region of the world where the persecution is light, nonetheless, if we lived in a region where the persecution is severe, including the threat of being killed, we must remember the words that Jesus spoke to us.
“If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the Word that I said to you, A servant is not greater than his master. If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My Word, they will keep yours also.” John 15:18-20
The tide in America is turning. The threat of true Believers being persecuted by fellow citizens or even our own government is growing exponentially day by day. In the name of tolerance, people are beginning to determine that there is one group of people they can not tolerate, that is conservative Christians.
In the wake of the Orlando massacre, there have been liberal writers, some who are very well known and followed, blaming the shooting not on Islamic radicalism, but rather on the ideologies that conservative Christians hold and promote. They say that it was the baseline hate that some Christians have put into the fabric of this nation that allows for people like the Orlando shooter to become radicalized off of. The list of these people purporting such ideas include popular think tank writers, university professors, lawyers and even elected leaders.
Already in America we had a society where even pastors who recognized the difference between right and wrong, as laid out in the Holy Scriptures, would not publicly speak out against such sin, for fear of backlash from their congregation or their community. Now how much more so will those who know withhold their voice from proclaiming God’s truth?
Around the world there have been calls for tolerance, to end the hate, to just get along with everyone and a renewed call for not only acceptance of the LGBTQ community, but embracing their ideologies and supporting their perversity. Yet in the wake of the shooting comes forth a dangerous idea by our leaders and those who are in charge of intelligence departments of the United States.
Omar Mateen, the shooter at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, had been on the terrorist watchlist maintained by the FBI. Apparently his name was removed from the watchlist, the investigation we are told had been closed. Mateen had been one of 800,000 people on the watchlist. There are just over 204 million working age Americans in the United States. That means that 1 out of every 255 Americans are on the terrorist watchlist maintained by the FBI.
There has always been a debate going back and forth about where the line is drawn between civil liberties and the government surveilling supposed dissidents. In the case of Mateen, the FBI is under fire for having stopped their investigation and there are renewed calls for the FBI to tighten up its grip on watching dissidents. Their definition of a lone wolf is “people who may be inspired to commit an attack from their consumption of online content without receiving any material or logistical support from groups.” President Obama stated, “it is increasingly clear” that the killer, a U.S. citizen, became “radicalized” by “extremist information and propaganda over the internet” — noting that such lone-wolf attacks are “the hardest to detect.”
Will true Believers find themselves in the crosshairs of the Federal government? Will the Lord come and gather His own before things get that bad? The public is now susceptible to scrutinization of people whose views differ from their own, or rather people who hold viewpoints that are called ‘extreme’.
The problem is that true Believers viewpoints are not their own ideas, but rather God’s firm word on the matter. The fact that a Believer is labeled homophobic, a hater, or now deemed as a threat for holding such truth that those who are gay will be judged by God and have a need for Jesus Christ to save them, is now extreme. If you do not believe that our society is on that path, I challenge you to use your Facebook account or other social media and intercede with one of the remember Orlando postings or rehashes by simply telling your friends that God calls all to repentance (Acts 17:30). If you do not believe that the turning of the tide is now alive and well towards evil, the responses you receive from your family and friends should be a quick awakening.
Unfortunately since the massacre in Orlando there has been much renewed discussion about how the FBI should deal with those on the terrorist watchlist, as well as protocols for ensuring lone wolves be tracked down, investigated relentlessly. Hillary Clinton said the following in a recent speech:
“The Orlando terrorist may be dead, but the virus that poisoned his mind remains very much alive. And we must attack it with clear eyes, steady hands, unwavering determination and pride in our country and our values.” Adding, “we have to be just as adaptable and versatile as our enemies. As president, I will make identifying and stopping lone wolves a top priority.” Finally she states, “I will put a team together from across our government, the entire government, as well as the private sector and communities to get on top of this urgent challenge.”
Obama stated, “That’s something that the LGBT community is subject to not just by ISIL but by a lot of groups that purport to speak on behalf of God around the world.”
True Believers would never resort to violence, nor should such thoughts even enter the mind.
“Vengeance is Mine, and recompense; their foot shall slip in due time; for the day of their calamity is near, and the things prepared have made haste upon them.” Deuteronomy 32:35
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty through God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity unto the obedience of Christ, and being ready to avenge all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.” 2nd Corinthians 10:3-6
Yet in the minds of the politicians who represent us, there is little difference to them whether or not one has claims to ISIS, but whether those ideas that supposedly rot the brain and create a potential for violence are present. A Christian, when appropriate to do so, must not shy away from proclaiming God’s truth. Should a situation occur where the Holy Spirit directs a Believer’s heart to proclaim His truth, do so. If being a true Christian in today’s society lands a Believer on the terrorist watchlist, so be it! God will investigate their doings.